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15% of people not wearing facemasks where required
A survey carried out by journalists at Bruzz has shown that more than 15% of people in Brussels are not wearing a facemask or not wearing it correctly.
Bruzz took to Rue Neuve, to streets around Central Station and to the pedestrian zone, all places where the wearing of a facemask is now required. They counted all passers-by, noting whether they wore a facemask and if it was covering their mouths and noses.
The good news is that a large majority – nearly 85% – were wearing facemasks and wearing them correctly. That means that some 15% were not wearing facemasks at all, had them positioned under their chins or were wearing them over their mouths but not their noses.
‘In everyone’s interest’
A significantly large portion belong to the latter two groups: They had facemasks, but were not wearing them or not wearing them correctly. When questioned by the journalists, some of them explained that they were regularly making calls and so positioned their facemasks under their chins. Others pulled masks out of their pockets, simply having forgotten to put them on.
Others claimed that they had just eaten something and hadn’t put their mask back on. “You can pull your facemask down to eat or drink, but not longer than necessary,” Ilse Van de Keere of the Brussels-Ixelles police zone told the news source.
She also said she was disappointed by the results of the survey. “It appears that many people do not grasp the importance of the measures. But they are there in the interests of everyone.”
Last weekend, police in the Brussels-Ixelles zone handed out 152 fines to people not wearing facemasks in the parts of Brussels-City and Ixelles where they are required. On Monday, a number of additional streets were added to the list.
In addition to the entire pedestrian zone and Sainte-Catherine quarter, facemasks are require in about 28 other streets and squares in the two municipalities, including Avenue Louise, Avenue de la Toison d’Or and Place Eugène Flagey. The full list can be consulted online.
The other 17 Brussels municipalities maintain lists of streets on their own websites where facemasks are required. The regional government decided yesterday to not require facemasks across the entire capital-region unless the infection rate hits 50 per 100,000 residents. Currently that number is 38.
Photo ©Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA